Participating agencies:   ASPR   |  CDC   |  EPA   |  FEMA   |  NIOSH   |  NOAA   |  OSHA   |  SAMHSA   

NIHHIS Urban Heat Island Community of Practice Webinar Series


This summer, the National Integrated Heat Health Information System (NIHHIS) and its partners are hosting a webinar series to feature community case studies on what happens after Urban Heat Island mapping campaigns are conducted. Each webinar will be themed to follow the U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit’s (CRT) Steps to Resilience framework and how cities are working to address extreme heat risk.

These webinars will be recorded and the video will be available on this page and the NIHHIS YouTube Channel. We look forward to your participation in this series.


Back to Webinars     

Constructing Heat Vulnerability Indices

Date: August 17, 2021 | Time: 3:00 PM Eastern

Mapping the heat hazard is an important first step to understanding where to start addressing heat health issues in a city, but risk also involves exposure and vulnerability. This session will feature communities that have taken the next step after a UHI mapping program to factor in population, demographics, and health information to detail where the most at-risk residents live, to characterize their risk factors, and to guide appropriate interventions to manage those risks.


Kathryn Conlon Assistant Professor, University of California, Davis & Evan Mallen Affiliate Researcher, (Georgia Institute of Technology)

Dr. Kathryn Conlon is an assistant professor, jointly appointed in the School of Medicine Department of Public Health Sciences and School of Veterinary Medicine Department of Medicine and Epidemiology. Her research focuses on characterizing how climate change influences human, animal, and environmental health. She employs environmental epidemiological study designs, utilizing spatio-temporal exposure assessments, and weather, climate, and land-use model outputs. She also uses mixed-methods for social and behavioral epidemiology. She works with state and local health practitioners to systematically characterize and implement climate change and public health actions in support of building an evidence base for climate change and health interventions.

Dr. Evan Mallen is an affiliate researcher with the Urban Climate Lab in Georgia Tech's School of City and Regional Planning, focusing on heat mitigation planning and vulnerability assessment in the urban environment while teaching courses in urban environmental planning and design. Evan is also an ORISE Fellow with CDC's Climate and Health Program serving on the Evaluation team. He works to improve climate adaptation programs across the US in collaboration with Climate-Ready States and Cities Initiative (CRSCI) grantees.


Mapping Heat Vulnerability Indices & Introduction and the State of HVI Construction

Mapping Heat Vulnerability Indices 

This presentation will introduce the common techniques used to create heat vulnerability maps, such as principal components analysis. Discussion will include considerations of data selection, cutoff points, and policy translation.

Mapping Human Vulnerability to Extreme Heat: A Critical Assessment of Heat Vulnerability Indices Created Using Principal Components Analysis


Introduction and the State of HVI Construction

In this presentation, Evan will discuss techniques for effectively using HVI results to inform heat vulnerability and mitigation planning efforts.


Oded Holizinger
Urban Planner, Climate Resiliency Manager

Oded Holzinger is an environmental urban planner focusing on climate resilience, river restoration, public space, community organizing and environmental justice. He believes that a resilient and viable city is one that weaves together all people, infrastructure and natural wilderness. Oded is Groundwork Hudson Valley's Climate Resilience Manager and is the project manager for the Climate Safe Neighborhoods project in Yonkers, NY.


Contextualizing the UHI Mapping Results in Yonkers, NY

The citizen-science heat mapping campaign in Yonkers, NY was the first step in a process of developing a Heat Vulnerability Index (HVI), identifying the neighborhoods most sensitive to the impacts of climate change and exploring historical housing policies which led to these disparities. This summer, Groundwork Hudson Valley is working to organize these communities and utilize the HVI to promote both local interventions as well as long term strategies for mitigating the impacts of extreme heat on Yonkers's most vulnerable communities through a justice lense.

Groundwork Hudson Valley: Climate Safe Neighborhoods

Matthew Gonser
Director, Office of Climate Change, Sustainability & Resiliency, Honolulu

Matthew Gonser serves as the City and County of Honolulu Chief Resilience Officer and Executive Director of the City's Office of Climate Change, Sustainability and Resiliency. He joined the City and the Resilience Office in October 2017 and previously served as Coastal and Water Program Manager. Prior to joining the office he served for nearly six years as the Community Planning and Design Extension Agent with the University of Hawai'i Sea Grant College Program. With the office Matt led the City's development of the Ola: O'ahu Resilience Strategy, which was adopted as a guiding policy document by the City Council via Resolution 19-233 in 2019, and, in concert with City departments, has been leading the development of a climate adaptation strategy, "Climate Ready O'ahu." Matthew serves as an advisory council member for the state Department of Land and Natural Resources Kaulunani Urban and Community Forestry Program and is one of two Directors-at-Large with the Hawai'i Chapter of the American Planning Association. Matthew holds a BS in Natural Resources from Cornell University, and holds masters in both Regional Planning and Landscape Architecture, respectively, also from Cornell.


Honolulu Community Heat Assessment and Actions

In 2019, the City and County of Honolulu, in partnership with NOAA and CAPA Strategies, completed a community heat assessment. These data, in addition to our known climate change projections for increasing temperatures and heat, are informing climate resilience and equity actions and targeted implementation to address frontline communities and equity. Honolulu is combining past vulnerability index efforts with forthcoming data and map resources to inform implementation of actions to address community equity and heat.

Social Vulnerability Index Honolulu






Past Webinars

How the Heat Watch Campaigns are Conducted [recording | slides]
Vivek Shandas (CAPA Strategies)

What happens when you go “hyperlocal” – the legacy of inequitable heat exposure in US cities [ recording ]
Jeremy Hoffman (Science Museum of Virginia) and Vivek Shandas (Portland State University)

Register For Full Webinar Series

For questions about the webinar series, please contact Noura Randle.

*More details describing each webinar will be available soon; this page is under active development. If you have a suggested topic or interest in speaking in this webinar series, please reach out to Noura Randle - NOAA Affiliate



The Urban Heat Island Citizen Science Campaigns are made possible by:




NIHHIS is made possible by our participating agencies.










NIHHIS Headquarters

Address: 1315 East-West Hwy, Suite 1100
Silver Spring, MD 20910

About Us

NIHHIS is an integrated information system that builds understanding of the problem of extreme heat, defines demand for climate services that enhance societal resilience, develops science-based products and services from a sustained climate science research program, and improves capacity, communication, and societal understanding of the problem in order to reduce morbidity and mortality due to extreme heat.  NIHHIS is a jointly developed system by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Back To Top